Christmas is upon us again, and it looks like fun. When I got home today, I found we had acquired a tree. It is a bit thin and skimpy, but it reaches floor to ceiling. Six teenagers were decorating it with odds and ends as I walked in the door. I had a few dollars left and I handed that to Lenora so she could get some balls and tinsel. Now she has made a wreath for the back door from branches she found in the trash, and I made a gathering of leaves tied together with a red ribbon for the front door. We are ready for anything that comes our way.
The kids will be going up to spend a few days with their dad and stepmother until the New Year’s, a quick visit before the adults leave for Arizona. As a child, I loved vacations. As an adult with two kids during the great American “Holiday Season,” I hate vacations.
I chatted this morning with Jo about this. She and I think alike on the subject. I gather her daughter had behaved terribly throughout the whole Christmas season. I was able to tell her that my kids mostly behaved with no fits or tantrums at all. That “mostly” got to me though. Wore me out.
Life has been unexpectedly busy which includes the banking. I’m aware that this is going to be our tightest two weeks in years. The bills, rent, and good karma are all taken care of, and we will not starve. Sadly, the checking account reads plus one. If I don’t drink, I will not get miserable and maudlin about it. I will have to get inventive about food though.
I rode the bus down to the therapists bringing my journals with me today. I am to be a part of a study for some doctors who are interested in ex-speed freaks. Halfway home, just as the bus rounded a curve on Chatsworth, it stopped at the bus stop at the little neighborhood park. I saw Lessa sitting smoking there on the grass. She was supposed to be in school.
Anger totally took over all of me. I ran to the front of the bus, stuck my head out the bus door, and I screamed at her to get home right then and there. The rest of the ride home was spent hiding my head in embarrassment from the other bus riders
Now I have talked to Lessa, and I have called her therapist. He says he has seen her turning into a person who looks for love and acceptance through sex, drugs, and alcohol. God, how I wish her to pick another path.
Lessa has been sneaking out her bedroom window every night after I go to sleep and going over to Bob’s apartment. He is a 28-year-old, itinerant house painter and a drug dealer. He keeps everyone in his apartment stoned constantly, and she is balling everyone in that apartment. She is 14. I confronted her with this, and she ran out screaming at me and stayed out all night.
When she returned she looked like she had been up crying all night with swollen, puffy eyes, sad mouth, and bloated cheeks. She said she just had to get away and think things over. I asked if I could help, and she said no. She again told me that she would make a real effort to be honest with me, and that she wouldn’t sneak out any more. I asked her if she wanted a written contract like the one her friend Marilyn had with her father. She didn’t want one as Marilyn was having too many problems with her contract. Did she want anything of me? Nothing she said. I told her no more Frank, and that I would have to talk with him. More tears.
After all this, my mother took me out to lunch, called me a productive artist, and bought me a full set of paints. I was so bone tired that all I could do was say a bare thank you.